Rash of Problems in Dongola

updated: 1/16/03

(Dongola, IL)--An unexplained rash is causing major problems for one Heartland town, and keeping the kids home till health officials can discover the cause.

"We've done everything recommended to us and still don't know what it is," Superintendent Richard Reavis said, as he talks about the rash that can't be figured out.

According to Reavis, the first student to be affected walked into the nurses office Monday.  Since then more than 15 cases have hit the school's population, including two teachers.  But health experts don't know what they are looking for or where to find it.

"Quite honestly its like finding a needle in a haystack," said Illinois Department of Health official Lynn Stone.

Crews are looking in the ventilation system, cabinets and other storage spaces for any clue to the rash.  Right now, at least one student has gone to the emergency room.

Students are excused from class until Monday.